Intel® Education Initiative – Education at Karnataka
INDIACSR News Network
A unique school in Bangalore reaches out to underprivileged children to give them technology based, quality education.
The Indus International Community School (IICS) initiated by the Indus Trust which runs the Indus International School, reaches out to children below the poverty line. IICS’s mission is to empower students through leadership competencies, proficiency in English, and the power of technology.
The school is situated on a 3-acre campus, close to the Indus International School, Bangalore, with the infrastructure needed to facilitate education of international standards. These include state-of-the-art classrooms with one computer per student, e-resources and smart interactive boards to name a few.
IICS is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the academic year 2010-11 was the first year of its operation. It currently has around 300 students who come from the nearby villages of the Handenahalli Panchayat. The parents of these children work on farms or as daily labourers. The school functions in two shifts, catering to 150 students in each shift. Currently, they have classes up to grade 6, with 25 children in each grade. The school has a Principal, eight teachers and one academic coordinator. Volunteers too assist the school in various projects from time to time.
Students are given a mid-day meal, transport, uniform, books, stationery and bags. They are also given medical insurance and avail of periodic medical checkups. Students have to pay an annual fee of Rs 1,500 only.
The school aims to develop competencies, that include leadership qualities, and empower students through use of technology. In addition, it aims at making its students fluent in English. As technology is an important tool for teaching, there is a need for training teachers on using technology effectively in their classrooms.
The need for computers in the school was met by Intel along with some other donors. The Intel SMG partnership provided 40 Intel ClassMate PCs to IICS. The school also has 50 Jetways (by Blueberry). Using virtualisation, the school uses 50 computers which are connected to two CPUs. Today, the school has 150 computers, with each student getting one computer to work on.
As part of the Intel IYI Program, all teachers in the school have been trained on the Intel® Teach Program, which emphasises Project Based Approaches (PBA). In addition, the teachers have also attended the Transforming Learning with 1:1, a workshop conducted by Intel. They have also undergone a two-week training on ICT at the Indus International School. The teachers used two Saturdays of the month to participate in these trainings. The school also uses content provided in the Everon and Edurite learning software, in both English and Kannada.
The use of ICT in teaching underserved children is effectively helping the school achieve its mission.
High attendance rate: A truly remarkable achievement has been the zero drop out rate of the students since the academic session started in June 2010.
About 70% of the students have close to a 100% attendance rate, while the remaining 30% have occasionally missed school due to health reasons. This high rate of attendance is due to the consistent follow up done by the school on any absenteeism.
High comfort level of teachers with technology: As a result of the exposure to technology as well as the ICT training imparted by the school and the Intel Teach Program, the teachers today have a high level of comfort in using computers than when they had joined the school. They now, increasingly, use technology in an integrated manner to enable learning in the classrooms. They use Project Based Approaches in their teaching-learning process with ease, along with the Internet for research. With their proficiency in computers and technology, they are now further motivated to meet their personal as well as professional development goals.
Inspiring Young Innovators (IYI) School Program: IICS is among the schools participating in Intel’s IYI School Program. The objective of the IYI is to kindle the scientific and technological spirit in students and to encourage the schools towards greater innovation and creativity. IYI works in collaboration with the entire school fraternity including students, teachers, parents and the school management. Activities under this program include science workshops and competitions for students, their mentoring by Intel technologists, student and teacher visits to the Intel campus, interactive sessions with Intel technologists, and trainings and workshops conducted for teachers.
“We have learnt that we should never differentiate between the privileged and under privileged children because, given the opportunity, the children from the under privileged backgrounds can be at par with the best.” –Mr Manoj Kumar, Princiapl, IISC, Karnataka
“The two day workshop – Transforming Learning with 1:1 program opened my eyes towards the use of technology in classroom. I was using technology before attending the workshop, but the program helped me use technology effectively. I wish to get more such opportunities to learn about the effective use of technology”- Ms Bhavani, Teacher, IISC